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San Diego Personal Injury Law Blog

California dentist faces consequences of 30 years of negligence

For many people in San Diego, a trip to the dentist is anxiety-producing. For some, it is because the mouth is a sensitive area. For others, it could be the fear of what the physician may find or treatments that may be necessary. Dentists should be trusted physicians who can accurately diagnose and resolve an issue. Unfortunately, there are some, like one Southern California prosthodontist, who truly give patients something to fear.

According to a report, 18 civil lawsuits and small claims have been filed against the man over the course of roughly 30 years. In one instance, a woman asserts that it cost $18,000 to fix the mistakes the dentist made when putting crowns on her teeth. Another woman claims that the dentist caused permanent damage by negligently placing bridges in her mouth. In yet another case, a woman learned the dentist had acted negligently only after she switched providers.

Improved pedestrian safety called for

The mayor of New York City has been very public about the effort the city is making to improve pedestrian safety in the area. The Vision Zero plan intends to eliminate all pedestrian fatalities by the year 2020. A fatal pedestrian accident can happen at any location—in an intersection with a crosswalk, in a parking lot, in a driveway and even on a sidewalk. When a pedestrian accident is not fatal, serious injuries are still possible including brain damage, broken bones and more.

New York is not the only city in the country that is struggling with high rates of pedestrian accidents. A group in Southern California known as Circulate San Diego reports that the 23 pedestrian deaths in the city of San Diego in 2012 represent an increase of more than 100 percent over the prior year. Additionally, more than 50 percent of those fatalities involved accidents that happened in designated crosswalks. Between 2008 and 2012, roughly 40 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the city happened in crosswalks.

California driver heads the wrong way and kills motorcyclist

It is human to err, and perhaps one of the places where that phrase holds significant truth is on the road. Many fatal motorcycle accidents in California are the result of someone making a simple mistake, such as taking a turn too quickly or a driver failing to see the cyclist. In some circumstances, heading the wrong way on a highway can have devastating consequences, as one recent incident reminds us.

An 86-year-old man from Sacramento accidentally entered the southbound lanes of Highway 160 while traveling northbound. In an effort to correct his mistake, he moved his truck toward the center divider in the hopes of being able to turn off the highway as soon as possible. However, a 56-year-old man from Sacramento was riding his motorcycle in the fast lane heading southbound. On a blind curve, the motorcycle and the truck collided.

California VA hospitals reviewed as part of national audit

Having access to health care is an essential part of many people’s well-being. For veterans who live in San Diego and throughout California, there are a number of military hospitals that provide care. However, several such facilities across the country have come under fire recently for medical malpractice. A nationwide audit recently reviewed the hospitals that the Department of Veterans Affairs runs.

On a national level, investigators found that VA facilities had scheduling issues with more than 57,000 military members. Many of California’s clinics did well as a result of the audits. In Coachella Valley, for example, there are roughly 30,000 veterans. The local VA clinic there has received high marks for its level of care from several veterans.

Report: Low-income areas have high risk of pedestrian accidents

Accidents can happen anywhere. Drivers who are distracted behind the wheel can cause a crash or fatalities throughout San Diego. There are certain things drivers and pedestrians can do in order to prevent an incident, such as driving the speed limit and using the crosswalks. According to a new study, avoiding certain areas may also be a way to sidestep an accident.

In the city of San Diego, roughly a third of residents are considered low-income. The population accounts for a quarter of the land in the area, compared to a third of high-income residents who have nearly half the land in the city. A recent study reports that densely populated areas carry a 20 percent increased risk of a pedestrian accident compared to more scarce areas.

Report: Fatal hit-and-run accidents on the rise in San Diego

When a car accident occurs, the people involved are supposed to move their vehicles to a safe location when possible, call authorities and exchange information. All too often in San Diego, however, the responsible party flees the scene. A hit-and-run accident can be devastating, not only in terms of physical injury but also because the negligent driver may never be brought to justice. Across the county, more and more of these accidents are happening, and they involve pedestrians.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that if a car traveling at 30 miles per hour strikes a pedestrian, he or she only has a 60 percent chance of survival. At just 10 miles an hour faster, the rate of death multiplies by two, and at 50 mph, a pedestrian is not likely to survive.

Wrong-way motorist causes fatal accident in California

There is little doubt that some intersections and roads can be confusing for a driver. Motorists unfamiliar with San Diego roads may be unsure of navigating some traffic patterns. However, that should be cause for driving with caution, as doing otherwise could cause a fatal accident. Drivers who willingly behave in a reckless manner do more than put themselves at risk, as a recent incident illustrates.

A 49-year-old man was driving along the Lakeside freeway in his company’s utility truck when an incident occurred that one witness called the worst thing he had ever seen. As the man’s vehicle was moving at roughly 60 miles an hour, witnesses say another vehicle entered the freeway traveling the wrong way at the same velocity and struck the truck head-on. Several witnesses said the wrong-way driver, later identified as a 29-year-old female, seemingly caused the accident on purpose, though members of law enforcement are still investigating.

California dog attacks boy, controversially set to be euthanized

When an animal lashes out at a human, there are several outcomes that may occur. Sometimes, pets in San Diego may be quarantined, labeled as “dangerous” and then returned to an owner with strict guidelines. In other situations, such as a vicious dog attack, animals may be euthanized. There are many people who object to putting down an animal, even one that has harmed someone.

When an 8-month-old Labrador-Chow attacked a child, a cat intervened. The event was captured on video, which went viral. The cat is now being lauded as a hero. A state senator has even expressed interest in presenting the cat with a certificate. The dog, which bit the 4-year-old boy, was placed under quarantine at the Bakersfield Animal Care Center and set to be euthanized after 10 days.

Experts: Medicating toddlers for ADHD may be dangerous

Parents have an obligation to protect their children from harm. For many individuals in San Diego, that sense of duty will bring them into a doctor’s office at the first hint of any medical issue their child may be experiencing. While seeking the advice of a professional is a good idea, it may be dangerous to jump to conclusions. In fact, failure to treat an issue appropriately could have dangerous side effects, as a recent trend demonstrates.

People who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be prescribed certain medications in order to bring symptoms under control. The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines set in place for diagnosing and treating the issue in children, but the standards do not extend to those who are 3 and younger. There has not been much research into how medications would affect children of that age group, though it is known that the risks associated with commonly prescribed medications include insomnia, hallucinations and growth suppression.

Medical malpractice initiative would raise cap to $1.1 million

When someone is a victim of a doctor error, he or she should take action. Many people choose to file a suit alleging medical malpractice. The damages recovered from these suits pay for items such as medical bills and lost wages. In California, there is currently a cap on how much money a victim may receive for damages pertaining to pain and suffering. However, a vote in November could change that.

In 1975, a California law determined that an individual may not receive any more than $250,000 for pain and suffering. Adjusted for inflation, the present-day number would be roughly $1.1 million. A measure on the ballot for this November seeks to use that new rate and make sure that the damage cap is adjusted for inflation on an annual basis.

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